26th January 2012
Sweet and Sour Flora
Flora texts me to find out what we're having for dinner:
Karl Karl I can tell u haven't had any for a while. Hmmmm how about healthy and lots of colour warm maybe something with sweet/savoury or sour.

Obviously you can't tell from the context, but I'm pretty sure she was talking about Chinese food.

So to accomodate her simple request I looked out a Sweet and Sour Pork dish, only with chicken. Since I'd already bought a chicken for something else.

I figure that being orange it will bring lots of colour if I serve it hot it will definitely provide the warm and being a main course it should also be pretty savoury (exactly what main courses aren't savoury then Flora?).

I'll leave Flora to provide the sweet which just leaves the healthy for which I pull out a sharp, aromatic Crab and Sweetcorn Soup from Ken Hom to start. It must be healthy - it's a soup right?

As usual when feeding Flora - time is of the essence, fortunately the soup is pretty quick to prepare, especially if you buy the crab prepared (as I did) or tinned.

Job Done.

Crab and Sweetcorn Soup
soup fish
The white pepper is a critical ingredient, but be careful not to overdo it. You can substitute ground black pepper if you must.

This doesn't have the lemony flavour nor the toothiness of chicken and sweetcorn soup, but has its own definite sharp and sour character.

Serves 6

If you are using fresh corn, peel and wash the cobs, then remove the kernels with a sharp knife or cleaver.
I cooked my corn cobs first, then I roughly puréed about half with some stock to give a bit of texture to the soup.
You should end up with about 1½ cups corn.

Mix the egg white and sesame oil together in a small bowl or measuring cup and set aside.
Bring the stock to a boil in a large pot and add the corn.
Simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered, then add the rice wine or sherry, light soy sauce, ginger, salt, pepper, sugar, and dribble in the cornstarch mixture.
Bring back to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.
Add the crabmeat.
Immediately afterwards, slowly pour in the egg white mixture in a steady stream, stirring slowly all the time.
Transfer the soup to a tureen or individual bowls and garnish with the scallions.
It's a bit brown-looking, but it tastes really good. I'm not sure where I'd go to improve it to be honest.
You can also use lobster instead of crab, but the result is nowhere near as good.

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